January 6, 2009

You May Have Noticed...

that I haven't been blogging lately. Sorry. I'm taking a brief hiatus. We were out of town over the holidays, then my parents were visiting, now I'm going to see a friend in San Francisco. (Alone! Woo hoo!!) And my sister and her family are returning from Ireland (For Good! Double woo hoo!!!!!!) on January 19th. And we might go camping in early February. And Warren has been off so we're trying to clean out the office, but really we seem to be making more of a mess. Anyway, there's so much going on I've hardly been at the computer at all except to look up answers to the odd question from Jerry ("I wonder what's the longest a person has gone without taking a shower.") or to research fun things to do (we found an r/c airplane club nearby!) and find a new Japanese tutor for Jerry (the first lesson is today!). So blogging has taken a back seat, as has reading other people's blogs (sorry!). I expect things to settle down in mid-February but I'll try to get a few posts in before then. One piece of exciting news (not as exciting as my sister coming home, though) is that I'm thinking of joining The Compact. My friend Angela is doing it and I've been thinking of joining her but I'm hesitant because we plan on painting the inside of our house and that would mean I'd have to buy new paint. Maybe that's a lame excuse. Anyway, I'm still not buying other new things. Oh, except there's a new game we want to get and we thought we'd order a chemistry set for Jerry. See!? It's hard to get out of the habit of buying stuff! And how do you do it when you're educating your child at home!? Anyway, it's all good stuff to think about and even if we don't go whole hog and stop buying new stuff altogether we'll definitely be more mindful of what we choose to buy--and most of it will be used.

And speaking of buying used--now that Christmas is over I can show you what I made for my mom and my sister! I had so much fun making gifts this year that I think I'll do it every year.
I found a little kids table and chair set at a second hand store and bought it thinking I would give it to my brother and his girlfriend for their baby girl (due in April) but then I remembered that my mom has this cute little tea set and has always talked about having tea parties with Cora, my niece, and now Cora is coming back from Ireland and they'll be living with my parents for a while so my mom will need a little table. So I decided to paint it and give it to my mom.And for my sister I made a purse using an easy tutorial I found online. I used a piece of upholstery fabric I got from my very first job out of college (a fabric store for interior designers) that I've been holding onto for 17 years and I just love the way it turned out. Part of me wished she wouldn't like it so I could take it back and make her a different one!Inside the purse I put a collection of my favorite short stories. I xeroxed them from my own books and wrote an introduction, made a pretty cover, and bound the pages together. It wasn't until after I compiled the stories that I read them all again and realized how depressing most of them were! That's part of the reason I wrote an introduction--I had to warn her that reading the stories all in one sitting might lead to thoughts of suicide. So far she's still with us though, so I don't think they've had a negative impact. The stories I chose were:
  • In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried by Amy Hempel
  • Melinda Falling by Jincy Willett
  • Cathedral by Raymond Carver
  • Memories of Youghal by William Trevor
  • Shooting Dad by Sara Vowell (that one's an essay, not a story)
Anyway, I really just wanted to check in and say hello. I hope you all had a happy Christmas and I wish you a wonder-filled new year!!

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